08 Sep 2020
A registered nurse has had his registration cancelled and been disqualified for applying for registration for engaging in professional misconduct.
On or about 29 November 2016, Mr Grant Burrows was charged with the criminal offence of indecent treatment of a child under 12 years with a circumstance of aggravation. The alleged offence occurred in 1998. Mr Burrows was not a registered health practitioner at the time.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) received notification from Mr Burrows’ employer on 23 November 2016 that he had been arrested and was being held in custody. Mr Burrows was also required under the National Law to give the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (the Board) written notice of the criminal charges and conviction within seven days, which he did not do.
Mr Burrows’ registration was suspended on 14 December 2016 and an investigation was commenced.
On 26 July 2017, Mr Burrows was convicted in the District Court of Queensland, on a guilty plea, of indecent treatment of a child under 12 years with a circumstance of aggravation. He was sentenced to imprisonment for a period of two years, suspended after serving a period of six months.
On 10 June 2019, the Board commenced disciplinary proceedings in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). The allegations related to Mr Burrows’ 26 July 2017 conviction and his failure, following being formally charged and convicted, to give the Board written notice within seven days as required. The Board sought a disqualification period of seven years.
QCAT noted the seriousness of the offence which involved a young child abused in her own home. QCAT considered it had occurred a long time ago, involved a single occasion, and no penetration. QCAT also noted Mr Burrows’ remorse and that there had been no sexual offence against a child or any other serious sexual offence since.
References suggested Mr Burrows was highly regarded in his work.
On 27 May 2020, the QCAT decided that Mr Burrows had behaved in a way that constitutes professional misconduct and his registration was cancelled. He was disqualified from reapplying for registration as a registered health practitioner for a period of fours years from the date of the order.
The parties were order to bear their own costs of the proceedings.
QTAC’s decision is available at https://www.sclqld.org.au/caselaw/QCAT/2020/164